Most of the job seekers I meet have something in common. They’re unhappy at their current jobs.
The complaints vary, and the level of frustration can be higher or lower, but people who are completely satisfied at work are rarely trying to leave.
Common complaints of job seekers include:
- My boss micromanages me
- I’m being underpaid — and I got another 2% raise this year
- My coworker left and my boss is planning to give me their work, rather than replace them
- There’s no room for growth in my current position
- I was overlooked for another promotion
- I got a new boss, and the new boss doesn’t buy into me
- My boss takes all the credit for my work
- My boss keeps me separated from upper management
- My company isn’t doing well — and there are talks that layoffs may happen
- I work in a toxic environment
If you’re unhappy at work, I bet you can relate to at least one of these complaints.
The interesting thing is– very often, at the beginning of the job search, the candidate is on the fence about what to do.
It’s like a bad relationship. We stay in them too long, in hopes that something will change, despite all signs to the contrary. We cross our fingers and wish that if we just say the right thing to our boss, they’d give us a raise. Or, they’d like us. Or, they’d promote us.
Sadly, whether your boss isn’t behind you — or you are working for a toxic organization, those things rarely change.
Now, I’m not recommending that you hop from job to job without trying to make the most of your current situation. You should always try to work things out first if you can.
But, there are limits. And, very often, we stay at our current job long after we’ve passed our limit. Rarely does this ever result in a positive outcome. Typically, the longer we stick around, the more demoralized we feel. The more run down we are.
And, the longer we commit ourselves to a bad situation at work, the less choices we have when looking for a new opportunity. For example, if it’s clear the organization is doing poorly, and we stay committed anyway, we could end up without a job at all. Then, our focus becomes finding a job fast, rather than finding the right job.
It can also cause us to have a negative story to tell when we’re job seeking. Instead of presenting a recent win at work, we may find ourselves explaining why we’re hoping to escape a bad situation. Even when it’s not our fault, this kind of story doesn’t reflect well on us.
The longer we stick around in a job where we’re being underpaid, the more our lifelong earnings will be impacted. Even just a few years of being underpaid can create a huge ripple effect later.
So, what I’d like to know is this: When is enough really enough? When your employer only gives you a 2% raise, and overlooks you for a promotion– believe the message they’re sending. You’re not a star performer in their eyes. Or, perhaps they are not poised as an organization to do the great things you expected. Once the mold is set, it’s hard to undo.
But, the great news is, another perfect opportunity could be just around the corner. That company could be healthier. Your new manager may appreciate your contributions more. You will most likely make more money.
Don’t delay. Don’t wait until you are beaten down and out of work to look for your next big job. Start now. Start while you’re still in a great place, and can put your best foot forward for your future employer.
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